Saturday, February 10, 2007

WSI InFlight Weather Service Transition to Sirius

On February 8, 2006, WSI announced that it had partnered with Sirius Satellite Radio to provide aviation weather information for aircraft flying within the Sirius footprint as part of the WSI InFlight system. Sirius entertainment will also available for passengers.

To aid in the transition, WSI has provided a Frequently Asked Questions (Faq) file to answer questions for the transition from the present equipment to the Sirius enabled equipment. According to this Faq file, the Sirius equipment will be available in April 2007. To help with the transition, WSI is offering a $1,200 rebate once the new equipment is installed. Existing displays will be compatible with the Sirius AV300 and AV350 receivers. The existing service will remain available through September 2007. Audio services will be offered as a separate subscription directly to Sirius.

This service competes directly with XM's WxWorx on Wings weather service.

On January 04, 2007, XM announced a swap out of the WSI Weather Channel Marine package that is also being phased out with the Wx Master Mariner package for $495. Expect XM to offer a similar swap-out for the WSI avionics equipment being phased out.

There is an interesting article concerning the two services published in May 2006 on the Avionic International website. WSI expressed concern over the transition to the new service:

“We are absolutely concerned that we will lose customers in the transition,” said Jim Menard, general manager for transportation at WSI.

XM will likely ensure that that concern is well founded.

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